"Donald Trump has huge ad buy - 2 minutes long — Donald Trump is trying something unconventional in the final stretch: a two-minute-long TV ad. — The campaign says it is spending $4 million to buy time for the ad in nine battleground states and on nationally televised shows."
That caught my eye, because it's CNN straightforwardly crediting the Trump campaign with a big and unusual move that could turn out to be quite clever.
Here's the ad (or what I think is the ad (maybe I'm just being tricked into propagating an ad and there's some other ad)):
But look at the CNN headline now: "Trump and Clinton prep long final ads."
Trump's not doing anything special. Both campaigns are just boringly doing the same thing — long ads.
Let's read the text and see whether Trump is doing something special — "huge" and "unconventional" — or just proceeding alongside his opponent in a boring nothing-to-see-here fashion.
Wait. Before reading the text, I realize that the first characterization is the one that makes you think I'd better check out that ad and the second version makes you think blah, more ads, leave me alone. So my hypothesis is that CNN changed the headline to keep readers from wanting to see that ad — either right away, on the web, or when it comes up as they're watching TV over the weekend. Oh, there's that Trump ad everyone's talking about.
Reading the text, I see it supports the older headline:
Donald Trump is trying something unconventional in the final stretch: a two-minute-long TV ad.The article is almost entirely about Trump's ad and its placement. And the accompanying TV clip, from Wolf Blitzer's CNN show, is only about the Trump ad. But there's also this about a Clinton ad:
The campaign says it is spending $4 million to buy time for the ad in nine battleground states and on nationally televised shows. TV ads are usually 30 seconds long, so Trump is trying to stand out by buying longer blocks of time and placing the ads during Saturday college football games, Sunday NFL games, and tentpole shows like "The Voice."
The idea is that the uncommonly long ads will stand out from the noise.
A Clinton campaign spokesman said Clinton also has a two-minute ad in the works. It is scheduled to also air on Monday night on "The Voice." It will also be seen on CBS, which has the new sitcom "Kevin Can Wait." The election eve ad time was reserved by Clinton's campaign on Thursday.That's not an equivalent big ad buy, just 2 airings of an ad yet to come. It's enough to make the new headline not entirely ridiculous, but I think the headline was rewritten to dampen interest in the story and the ad.
What did I think of the ad? It successfully portrays Hillary Clinton as the embodiment of the establishment, the establishment as the evil oppressor that must be overthrown, and Donald Trump as the embodiment of change, change that is needed. Within that ad, both candidates are symbols, not human beings. Don't think too much about Trump, the person, or Hillary, the person: Think about the big ideas.
The Hillary campaign has been stressing Trump, the person. He's a terrible man. Trump has called Hillary "a nasty woman," but his closing argument is not personal. I haven't seen Hillary's closing argument, but ad that I've seen in the last week on TV here in Wisconsin is this old one (from last July) that